Bonaire is the ‘B’ in the ABC island chain (the other two are Aruba and Curaçao). You will most likely stop in Bonaire if you are taking a Southern Caribbean Cruise.
(In which case, if you are, be sure to check out my post on the Cruise Port of Curaçao.)
This beautiful island is a special place and my husband’s favourite in the Caribbean. When you hop off your cruise ship in Kralendijk, there will be some of the clearest waters you have ever seen, so be sure to have a look at the coral and colourful fish right off the pier.
In case you can’t already tell, we LOVE Bonaire. The locals were tall and very blond…it is a Dutch island after all. It is also one of the calmest and nicest cruise ports we have ever visited because it is devoid of people.
The first time I visited Bonaire, I had not done any research on the island, so we just hopped in a cab and the taxi driver took us to a beach. This was unfortunately not the place for us as the beach was all CORAL! It was tough on the feet and unfortunately didn’t make a good swimming spot.
Fast forward to 2017 and we knew we had to come prepared this time. After some research online, we just knew that we had to visit Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island just off the coast of the cruise port. You can see it from the ship, and there are a couple of water taxi options that you can take over.
Instead of buying a tour from the Cruise Operators, which is normally more expensive, we decided to try our luck when we got there. It turned out to be so easy!
When you disembark in Kralendijk, walk north (left) towards the tents, restaurants, and bars. Not even 100 metres from the cruise pier are stalls for the water taxis. You will have a choice of which one you would like to take to Klein Bonaire.
Taxi prices vary – the cheaper the price, the fewer options available. Tickets will range from $15-20 US Dollars round trip depending on return time. We picked the $20 water taxi as the boat would return every hour; therefore we could choose our return time.
Considering the options available in Bonaire, this turned out to be the cheapest, easiest cruise port option. We were able to swim, lie on the beach, and browse the shops at the pier with minimal effort.
KLEIN BONAIRE. IS. BEAUTIFUL. There was a long, gorgeous beach with maybe 25 people on the whole island at its peak. We parked ourselves next to a local Dutch family and relaxed.
There are a couple cabanas for shade on the long beach, but no facilities for food or water. I would recommend bringing some snacks and drinks if you plan to stay for a couple hours, otherwise, you may be distracted by your rumbling tummy.
Words of wisdom: just come prepared. This is a gorgeous untouched spot with few tourists (or people at all), but like all untouched spots, bring what you need to enjoy it. My husband was content with his snorkel gear and a couple of beers that we bought off of the water taxi. We enjoyed beers on the beach in Bonaire, but forgot one thing….a bottle opener!
I traveled here in 2017. As always, be sure to check your country’s travel advisories before booking any trips or excursions. You can check out the Canadian opinion here.
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